The first trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released earlier this week, and though it doesn’t actually show a lot of what the whole film will contain, it shows enough to tide us over until the next trailer comes along. [Read more...]
Alan: Seven Psychopath’s brings up the question, “Who here is really sane?” Yeah, sure we might think that we’re completely normal human beings…but deep down, I think it’s safe to say that we are all just a little bit unhinged. We all have some thoughts that might seem crazy to some people, and to an extent that’s what Seven Psychopaths does best, let’s all of the crazy out. [Read more...]
A child crawls out of the forest, looking for help that will never come. Instead he is skewered and beaten to death. Because he didn’t have the conch. Yep, that’s how Lord of the Flies worked. Ok, so maybe not, but this was still a rather gruesome thing to read even as a high schooler. The Hunger Games had a similar plight in word form as barbaric images depicting children/teens murdering others for survival/sport engrossed masses of readers. But how exactly does this translate to screen? [Read more...]
A few weeks have passed since my last compilation post of movie rentals, and I should be ashamed at my lack of movie watching, but I have still spent a large percentage of my time wisely! We’re talking playing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on that stupid Wii and rewatching all three previous seasons of Parks and Recreation on Netflix. So yeah, all was not for naught. With that said, I knew you guys would be wandering around your favorite rental store, kiosk, or internet site without my help in possible choices, so here we go. [Read more...]
Oren Moverman’s The Messenger is a great honest look into the side of war we rarely see, the deceased family dealing with receiving the news of the passing, and the results are a film filled with sadness, anger, and humor surrounding this delicate and vulnerable situation.
The messenger in question is a staff sergeant, Will, who has returned home due to injury and is assigned to finish out his enlistment to deliver death notices to the bereaved families of the local area. His commanding officer, Tony, has been doing this for years now and is rather good at this potentially troubling work and the two bond over there experiences, clash over lack of experience, and try and deal with the loneliness and issues that surround their military lives.
Now there are plenty of deeply sorrow moments in this film but they are done with class and are dignified recreations of many people’s worse moments. You can’t help but be affected by these sequences and the actors involved all do amazing work in that you almost feel like you are watching a documentary on the subject and Moverman’s camera work really gives these moments a raw and real feel. With that said there is a lot more to this picture than trying to depress us as more and more bad news is delivered. The relationship between Will and Tony is compelling, funny, and always engaging [Read more...]
Roland Emmerich’s latest is a good fun premise and starts off as an entertaining little disaster movie quickly dives into head scratching plot holes and absurdity that doesn’t make sense at any turn.
(Spoilers throughout, sorry they must be discussed)
The plot of the film revolves around the supposed end of the world predicted in the Mayan calendar with the end coming Dec 21st, 2012. The discovery of the impending changes is discovered three years early when some geological studies discover rising core temperatures and changing crust density that will lead to cataclysmic destruction and displacement of the land masses of the earth. The United States from here spear heads a massive project to build a set of arcs to help preserve the life and society of earth during the mass destruction. As the impending destruction arrives, the initial destruction of LA that we experience through John Cusack’s family characters eyes is indeed an impressive cinematic moment but after this and the explosion of Yellowstone the film drops off in quite a hurry.
The first problem is the Russian family that is inserted into the plot are completely unlikable and a waste of time. From here, how many times can we really see an airplane take off in destruction and narrowly make it? Once Cusack joins up with the Russians, his story become pretty worthless, and unfortunately they stay away from Chiwetel Ejiofor’s scientist with a conscious plot which is far more interesting, well until we get to the ludicrous final scenes. From here let me bullet point some thoughts that crossed my mind: [Read more...]
In the near future, the majority of the population of the United States has turned into a flesh-feeding mass due to a freakish incident that I would not dare to give away. We first meet the neurotic Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), who up till now has only survived thanks to his long list of rules that often find themselves strategically placed on screen as they come into play, such as the use of seatbelts, cardio, and the better safe than sorry double-tap. [Read more...]
Ruben Fleischer’s feature debut is an extremely fun zombie comedy that is definitely more comedy than any of the many other genres on display here, which isn’t a bad thing since it is frequently hilarious.
The zombie apocalypse is well under way in the United States and the living dead vastly outnumber the living. We follow the path of Columbus, as in his destination is Columbus, Ohio, in which he hopes to find his family still intact. Columbus lives by a set of rules to keep from becoming the living dead, many of which we will get a lesson in over the course of the film. Columbus is a former college student who has now hit the road and he ends up running into and pairing up with a man known as Tallahassee, a bit reckless but a hell of a zombie killer, the two form an unlikely team that is both effective and beneficial to their survival. The pair eventually runs into another couple on the run, this time a pair of sisters, Wichita and Little Rock are their call signs with Wichita being the older and Little Rock a 12 year old on the run. The foursome eventually team up, though not very smoothly and they decide to watch each others backs with the hope of finding a little peace if not what they are looking for. [Read more...]
Brad Anderson’s train thriller is an effective piece of cinema that keeps tension high while taking a series of twists and turns along the way.
The film opens with the police investigation of a drug dealer that was robbed and killed, with the investigation headed up by Grinko (Ben Kingsley) who after discovering that someone is on the run with the drugs sets out to track the trail. We are then introduced to a couple, Roy and Jessie (Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer), who are doing some charity work in Beijing who get are taking the Tran Siberian Railroad back to Moscow before heading back to the states. Roy is openly more religious of the two and Jessie is a bit scarred of getting pregnant, and while there is a bit of tension between the two they get along for the most part. Enter their bunk mates, a younger couple named Abby and Carlos (Kate Mara and Eduardo Noriega) who are a pair of free spirits that seem to be hiding something. Abby warns Jessie and Roy that drug mules are a big problem on the railway, and that they should make sure to have all their ducks in a row with customs and their passports to avoid detention. [Read more...]
This poker mockumentary from Zak Penn is funny and excellent addition to this sub-genre of films that there needs to be more of.
Woody Harrelson is the closet to a lead as “One Eyed” Jack Faro in this ensemble piece about a poker tournament, “The Grand”, with a few million dollars at stake that will let Faro save his family’s casino which he wrote away the deeds to during his drunken/drugged/and sex riddled time of his life. Faro is on the tail end of another rehab stint as he comes back to Vegas to compete against 6 likely competitors. [Read more...]
The Coen Bros. return after a three year hiatus with a return to their crime/thriller roots that made them famous in the first place. An adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, it is one part reflection on our disintegrating society and one part cat and mouse chase thriller, with the cat and mouse part working beautifully. [Read more...]